I went to the Camera Japan Festival to watch the Japanese movie ‘Voices in the Wind (Kaze no denwa)’. I have chosen this movie as I like real life stories and I felt attracted to a story about losing loved ones.
The story is about the girl Haru (Serena Motola), the only one of her family who survived the tsunami in 2011. Her father, mother and brother have never been found. After this, the nine year old girl moved to Hiroshima to live with her aunt Hiroko (Makiko Watanabe). After years of living with her aunt, her aunt suddenly gets hospitalized. Haru decides to hitchhike back to her hometown Otsuchi.
Compelled by the weight of her sorrow, she starts her journey. Asking herself why she is losing everyone she loves. During her journey she meets different kind of people, like an old lady who has dementia and a family of Kurdish refugees. Eventually she meets another survivor, Morio (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a former nuclear worker from Fukushima now living out of his car. Also he is haunted by loss. They travel together and visit both the houses where they have lived. Then they go both their own way. Morio brings Haru to the train station so she can get back to Hiroshima. At the station she meets a boy who talks about a ‘wind phone’, which can be used to call deceased relatives. Haku starts to call her family and this will change the rest of her life.
Carried on the wind
It’s a movie that shows what it means to survive, to experience great loss, but yet carry on. It is a beautiful story where you can feel the sadness and pain of Haru. During her journey she meets bad and good people. But she also learns that there are more people who care about her and wants to help her. It’s a movie that makes you realize that having loving people around you in your life is so important. But it also shows how painful it is to lose them.
If you want to call your deceased loved ones, the wind phone does really exists. In the small town of Otsuchi, 2.000 people were lost in the tsunami. One resident, who had been grieving because of his cousin, had the idea of placing an old phone booth in his garden. He would ring his cousin’s number and his words would ‘be carried on the wind’ as he spoke to him. Many people have visited this phone booth, to call those they have lost.